Heartland Year End Letter 2023

 

To all who call Heartland home,

Can you believe it is almost 2024? We’re still in a bit of shock. It feels as though 2023 has gone
by so quickly and now we’re at a new year together again. God has been busy at work through
our members and friends, in our leadership team, in our church and in our community! We find
ourselves looking back over the last year filled with gratitude for what has happened, what is
happening now, and we also look toward the coming year with hope and excitement.

Finding our groove

Deborah, Gryffydd and I have been catapulted into this new season and new ‘norm’ for our life.
In our prayer life both together and separately we have been excited by the opportunities that
the Lord continues to place in front of us. We have thoroughly enjoyed our deep conversations
with those of you who have reached out to us to talk through what this transition looks like for us
personally and corporately. We look forward to meeting with those with whom we have not yet
had the opportunity to connect.

We continue to ask for grace as we find our footing in our new roles but are very sure we will enter into the new year trusting in the Lord’s steps and direction for us. We are so encouraged by the reports that we are hearing from each of you and continue to pray for you all.

Transitions

This has certainly been an interesting year for our congregation. So much transitioning
continues to happen. In December we celebrated our Founding Pastor Ron Allen’s faithful time
of service and ministry as he steps into a new season of retirement. We love that we have had
the opportunity to learn from Ron, and we know that has not ended. Deborah and I are so
blessed to continue to have ‘Grandpa Ron’ around to love on us, mentor us, and help us grow
into our new roles here at Heartland.

Pastor Dave Frincke announced in October his stepping down from the Senior Pastor role to
pursue his calling to lead United Adoration full time. We know of nobody more gifted and able to
lead this charge for the creatives than you, Dave! Both your and Bethany’s faithfulness to the
Lord and willingness to hear His voice in this period are incredible. We’ve said it before and we
will continue to say it — we are so proud of you and look forward to seeing what new exciting
journeys lie ahead for you.

Heartland Family Life

Our family continues to grow! When we look back on 2023, we see so many fantastic examples
of this:

● Our children’s ministry continues to allow our youngest members the opportunity to
serve each other, the Church and the community, as well as learning more about
worship and more about our heavenly Father.

● Our Youth group continues to step into the unknowns of this world and has created an
environment of “just going for it.” In prayer, worship and evangelism we’ve seen fruit both
individually and collectively.

● Our worship community (musicians, artists, creative writers and so much more) has
touched the hearts of so many in sharing the heart of the Father through their
expressions. Worship can look like many different things, and we certainly see that in our
body.

● Streams of Hope continues to stand in the gap on a daily basis in terms of education and
spiritual matters. Growth and excitement are part of the future and we are thankful for
everyone who serves so that this vital work continues.

● Our men’s and women’s ministries continue to offer community to share, support and
love on one another. As a body of believers we have so many opportunities to be
plugged in and included in what’s going on. It makes my heart dance!

● We have so much happening within our walls that we can’t possibly write it all into a
letter — and I don’t want to dismiss what happens outside in our neighborhood too. What
amazing opportunities we’ve had to meet our neighbors. We continue to ask for more!

What’s next?

As we pray about 2024 we have noticed how connected we are to each other as a church and
how much we genuinely care about each other. Every Sunday is part worship and part family
reunion. During the preceding six days, all of us have been scattered about living our Monday
through Saturday lives. Then on Sunday – fittingly the first day of a new week – our church
family gathers again not just to worship, but to catch up with each other; to talk, laugh, weep,
hug…and wish each other well for the week to come.

Heartland has always been this way, and we shall continue. In the months to come, there will be
challenges (such is life), but for the most part they are welcome ones. What will 2024 look like
for us? How can we better care for one another? How can we expand our ministry, especially to
our own community? How can we better serve Jesus in our life together?

We remind ourselves that this is all about Jesus, all for Jesus, all glorifying Jesus.
We are excited about the things to come, we wait expectantly for opportunities to do what God
is asking us to do, and we are very excited about being able to do it as a family, together.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be
with all of you.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Faithfully yours,
The Grahams

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